Systems are a derivative or even an extension of a Business’s Strategic Plan. Systems are the way you do things. They are the procedures and processes that can be replicated.
Effective business systems can be created for all kinds of work performance that occur in your organization. As you formalize your systems, the time you spend focusing on the details of a job becomes invaluable; as you critically examine each step of a process, you are also determining whether certain areas need improvement. This is a key component of the process because business systems need to be reviewed and improved as it evolves.
Businesses with the lack of systems are most vulnerable and find themselves in trouble during testing economic times and sudden changes in internal or external factors. We discuss this in the article “Is Your Business In Trouble? 10 Warning Signs and How to get Back on Track”.
These businesses often require resuscitation measures, as we explored in the article “5 Vital Steps to Resuscitate Your Business”; which more often than not are either too late or quite costly if left unattended, or even worse if the revival measures are put in place with emotions rather than tactically.
At this point, it is usually advisable to seek external help instead of going it alone which is well explained in an earlier article “Going It Alone Vs Leadership Under Advisement”.
But, perhaps the most important aspect of Business Systems is the synchronicity, alignment and focus it brings to the overall strategic plan, the WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE & HOW, of the business. The Business Systems must be an interwoven texture and fabric of the Business’s Strategic Plan.
Systems provide consistency
With business systems, you can produce the same products and services with the same level of consistency. Once you have created your systems and written down the sequential steps, your employees can follow the proper procedures consistently. You can monitor these processes and improve when necessary.
Systems can be implemented for sales, marketing, operations, employee training, finance, reporting, etc. The people who benefit the most from having systems in place are your customers who know what to expect from your business.
Change is easier to accomplish
Systems make a business predictable. So, when change impacts your business, which is inevitable in most businesses, then knowing what business systems need to be modified becomes easier. You will know the current work process and can predict how change should be handled.
Once your systems become part of the natural workflow as a flowchart or written as a set of sequential tasks and procedures to follow, they become easier to monitor. You’ll notice that tasks will be completed properly and efficiently; changes can be more quickly addressed.
Onboarding & Training new employees becomes easier
New hires can be quickly integrated into your business when there is a written set of procedures for them to follow and they know exactly what is expected from them. It becomes easier to gauge the effectiveness of an employee when you have a measurable set of guidelines to review.
Business Systems allow staff to focus on what they do best
Skills, knowledge and abilities are utilised effectively and efficiently in all areas of the business. Which, in turn, allows for better quality of work where everyone is focused on what they do best.
Once business systems are established and implemented, activities can be performed on “autopilot.” Repetitive activities in your business become routine, and you can focus on activities with higher payoffs.
Business systems create value
Effective business systems become a part of your company’s organizational infrastructure. If you are selling your business, formal procedures add value. Potential buyers can see that operations run smoothly and consistently; new hires and management can be quickly integrated.
Whilst there are clearly multitudes of benefits that effective business systems provide, here are the 8 core benefits I have selected:
- Simplified Operations
- Enhanced Process Consistency
- Improved Predictability
- Superior Quality
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
- Greater Brand Protection
- Lower Costs
- Reduced Risks
Systems help create a scalable, sustainable and sellable business. It forms the lifeline of a business and is the most valuable asset within a business. Businesses with systems command an insatiable value and there are myriads of examples all around us in the form of franchises and brands we interact with daily.
If you are unsure of where to start but would like to explore how to put these systems in place seek help from experts to help put a framework together. Big corporates, brands and franchises have forever been investing in optimization and systems initiatives as part of their core strategy. It is not as costly as perceived and is not exclusively for big corporates, brands and franchises.
Ultimately, however, due to its intangible nature and perceived cost, business systems and business advisors, coaches, mentors and management consultants who preach the “mantras” and importance of Strategy Planning and Business Systems, are largely classified as a “Nice to Have” luxury.
Business Systems and Strategy Planning are quite the opposite, they are a “Must Have” and could be the only survival mechanism in times of crisis.
The question therefore is, have you got business systems in place, are you able to see critical numbers, efficiency and consistency gaps before they become issues, are you making spending decisions with supporting benefits analysis against your input or outputs, or is it just too hard and seemingly overwhelming even to think about?
I suggest, Picking up the phone and getting someone with the experience to assess how easy it can be to put a few critical systems in place; which will give you the freedom to unchain yourself from the more repetitive day to day tasks.